Bundesliga’s Dortmund-Bayern title fight unmatched in Europe
It’s often said that the German language has a compound word for absolutely everything, and of course that principle also applies to the scenario that awaits us on Saturday.
The word “remote duel” (a long-distance duel) is a generally understandable term in Germany. It is a competition where two teams compete for the same thing and play at the same time but in different venues. Perhaps the English language should just adopt the word as it is made with counter-pressing, considering there is no such exact equivalent!
Saturday remote duel promises to live up to the enthusiasm that Bundesliga fans have been experiencing for many weeks. The events of the past weekend, when Bayern Munich lost 3-1 at home to the highly motivated RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund played 3-0 against FC Augsburg away in the Fuggerstadt, gave BVB the cards again. With just one game to go, a win will see Dortmund crown themselves champions, while a loss or draw will open the door to Bayern’s eleventh straight title.
— Dortmund-Mainz, Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+
– Cologne-Bayern, Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (USA)
Since March, the pendulum has swung almost violently back and forth between Germany’s two big names, with neither side outpacing the other, both experiencing ups and downs and expectations generally off the charts. There have been eight changes at the top of the Bundesliga table this season, with these two changing positions four times in the past nine weeks.
No other major league could offer such a level of uncertainty and unpredictability. Sorry Premier League fans who insist on telling me only exciting things happen in this league. It’s not even close to that this semester.
Commenting for the Bundesliga world feed in Munich last week, I had my doubts as to whether Bayern took the lead against Leipzig through Serge Gnabry, whether that was a sign of a crucial win record champion. During the broadcast I almost unconsciously added the supplementary word “maybe” to the question “another step towards…”. championship trophy“Bayern were the better side for 30 minutes but after that the fluctuations crept in, conceding two penalties and a logical four-on-one counterattack that gave the visitors the opener. Leipzig, who needed a win to ensure Champions League football, deserved their first ever triumph at the Allianz Arena against Bayern.
The next day, 60 miles along the autobahn, Dortmund, aided by a vociferous and lively away support, had to wait 58 minutes for their opening goal. And that despite a season best of 17 goal attempts in the first half, in which you played with a player advantage from the 38th minute.
Being denied the aluminum (which is known in English as “the woodwork”) twice only added to the general nervousness. But Sebastien Haller’s strike to give the visitors a 1-0 lead reassured everyone and it was no surprise that he scored a second before Julian Brandt brought the game to a close.
Now Dortmund are only 90 minutes away from the first goal championship trophy in 11 yawning years. On a level the Black yellow, who welcomes Mainz on Saturday (9:30 a.m. ET, live stream on ESPN+) In front of 81,000 spectators in Signal Iduna Park, you don’t have to worry at all about what Bayern are doing at FC Köln at the same time (Live stream on ESPN+). A BVB victory makes that irrelevant. However, imagine Bayern scoring first and then adding a goal or two before BVB can even score. Or if Dortmund falls behind against Mainz.
this is that remote duel Excitement in all its glory. Dortmund and Bayern may be playing on different pitches this weekend, but mentally and psychologically it’s still a two-team race for the title. Expect multiple showings on broadcasts of the flash table (the live table as it stands).
BVB are now undoubtedly the favorites for the title and it feels a bit like 2002 to me. This year, the Black yellow Longtime leaders Bayer Leverkusen scored on the penultimate day when the Werkself lost in Nuremberg and Dortmund won in Hamburg.
Then, on the last day of the game, when Dortmund were in control of the pitch at home against Werder Bremen, there was nervousness as they fell behind while Leverkusen pushed forward. But the decision was finally made in the 74th minute when Brazilian striker Ewerthon, who had just come on as a substitute, scored the goal that decided the season. BVB landed one point ahead of Leverkusen.
Bayern fans will perhaps have their hats off to what happened a year earlier, the famous Patrik Andersson afternoon. Schalke 04, who had beaten Unterhaching, were the chosen champions for four minutes, the game over and everyone in Gelsenkirchen waiting to see if Bayern, who had lost 1-0 well into injury time in Hamburg, give them the win would championship trophy.
But Andersson’s goal from an indirect free kick in the 94th minute burst Schalke’s bubble, went down in Bayern and Bundesliga folklore and secured the Bavarian giants their 17th championship title.
Saturday is all about pure emotions. Dortmund’s coach Edin Terzic put it in a nutshell: his players are paid very well and can buy a new house or a new car, but you can’t buy moments like this: the chance to become Bundesliga champions in front of your own fans.
The home form speaks for Dortmund. The Black yellow After all, they have 11 consecutive home wins in the Bundesliga and most recently failed to win at Signal Iduna Park on October 8, when they drew 2-2 with Bayern.
However, if you think that everything is now a matter of course for Dortmund, just consider the remarkable development of the last few weeks.
I will be providing live commentary on the Cologne-Bayern game for international viewers and I can’t wait to be a part of a special day in Bundesliga history. I hope you can join remote duel Fun on Saturday in an incomparable atmosphere.